Saturday, November 12, 2005


Back last January, Georgeann Walsh Ward issued a writ against Gene Simmons and Vh1 for apparently describing her as unchaste in a 2004 documentary,

Ward's case is based around the appearance of photos of her and Simmons while Gene bragged in voiceover that there were no women offlimits, and so on. Her lawyers insist the juztaposition gives the impression that she was "unchaste".

New York State Supreme Court Justice Rosalyn Richter let stand Ms Ward's two claims that she was depicted as unchaste or promiscuous during the documentary, even though she admitted she was in a "romantic" relationship with Mr Simmons.

The judge added that while social mores regarding sex between unmarried persons have changed, US law still says calling a woman unchaste is defamation.

When we covered this story at the start of the year, it generated a comment from an anonymous reader who got a bit overexcited and missed the point a little - yes, you could certainly argue that Simmons' attitudes towards women is little better than neandertahl, but that's not what is at issue here - the question is, does the appearance of the photo around the same time as that part of speech reflect on the character of the woman in the picture in any way? We'd say it doesn't - Simmons is clearly the dick here, and the only inference from ther photo is 'this woman is amongst those who shagged him' - something which Ward herself admits is true. If the picture had been accompanied by a voiceover saying "some women would shag anyone at all in a band", then that would have implied she had sex with a lot of men, and if you're the sort of person who feels that it's wrong for a woman to enjoy sex when she wants with whom she wants, then you might think less of her. But there is an important difference between "I have had sex with lots of people, and this person is one of them" and "I was one of the people who had sex with this person."

The release of Simmon's rock school on DVD might prove timely to help with legal costs